iOS 11.2 released over the weekend, adds Apple Pay Cash, improved wireless charging, chases down date bug which could cause a soft reset loop

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Date: Monday, December 4th, 2017, 03:31
Category: Apple Pay Cash, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News

It’s pretty unusual for Apple to release a major iOS update over the weekend, but the company did this with iOS 11.2, which, among other changes, offers support for Apple Pay Cash, 7.5-watt charging on compatible devices and a fix for a nasty date bug that can cause devices to enter a soft reset loop.

The update seems to have been released early to handle a recently discovered date bug that can cause springboard to crash, rendering an affected device barely usable.

It’s also been noted that the update, which was released on December 2nd, seems to share the same creation time as the betas, which did not suffer from the date bug.

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FDA approves first EKG reader for Apple Watch

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Date: Friday, December 1st, 2017, 03:42
Category: Apple Watch, Health, iOS, News, Software, watchOS, Wearables

The FDA has just cleared the first medical device accessory for the Apple Watch. AliveCor’s KardiaBand electrocardiogram (EKG) reader functions as a sensor that pairs with an app and can detect abnormal heart rhythm and atrial fibrillation (AFib). The user touches the sensor, which snaps into a slot on the watch’s band, to get an EKG reading in 30 seconds. The recording can then be sent to a doctor.

The KardiaBand can then predict and analyze the user’s heart rate based on data from both sick and healthy users.

AliveCor’s CEO Vic Gundotra, formerly of Google, offered the following comments:

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Comcast could be readying paid priority lanes should net neutrality laws be eliminated

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Date: Friday, December 1st, 2017, 03:03
Category: Legal, News

After years of promising that it won’t violate the principles of net neutrality, Comcast appears to be gearing up for an instance in which net neutrality laws could be revoked. The company’s stance has changed and while Comcast has stated that it has dropped its promise about not instituting paid prioritization.

The new policy now states that Comcast won’t “discriminate against lawful content” or impose “anti-competitive paid prioritization.” The change in wording suggests that Comcast may offer paid fast lanes to websites or other online services, such as video streaming providers, after the Federal Communications Commission eliminates the net neutrality rules next month.

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Sports section begins to surface in iOS 11.2, tvOS 11.2 betas

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Date: Thursday, November 30th, 2017, 03:58
Category: Fun, iOS, News, Software, TvOS

If you’re looking for additional sports goodness via your iOS device or Apple TV, Apple may have some good stuff coming your way.

Apple’s TV app has finally gained the live sports integration announced months ago. The dedicated sports section now appears to be live on the TV app on latest betas of iOS and tvOS.

The news follows a rumor released earlier this month via a verified source that stated that a Sports section would be released around December 4th. The new feature will bring live scores, game alerts, and the ability to watch multiple games simultaneously.

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Apple releases fix for root user bug in macOS 10.13 High Sierra

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Date: Thursday, November 30th, 2017, 03:23
Category: iOS, News, security, Software

Apple has released a fix for the now-infamous root bug in macOS High Sierra.

The company released its Apple Security Update 2017-001 update on Wednesday. The update, a 2.1 megabyte download, can be located and installed via the App Store app. Open this program, click on “Updates” and the patch will appear as a security update that can be installed without needing to restart your Mac.

Apple offered the following comment regarding the fix:

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HDMI 2.1 specs published, highlight improved HDR, resolutions up to 10K

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Date: Wednesday, November 29th, 2017, 03:09
Category: Hardware, News

It’s a bit down the line, but the HDMI Forum’s details for the HDMI 2.1 spec, which were released today, look pretty nifty.

The big takeaways include higher resolution, Dynamic HDR and the additions of support for high frame rate 4K and 8K video. HDMI 2.1 will work with 8K video at refresh rates up to 60 Hz, along with 4K video up to 120 Hz.

The new spec could enable higher frame rates for gamers as well as higher resolution video from high-end cameras as well as the ability to display at maximum quality.

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Apple follows up on root user security hole in macOS 10.13 High Sierra, has yet to offer timeline for fix

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Date: Wednesday, November 29th, 2017, 03:03
Category: macOS, News, security, Software

Well, this qualifies as a pretty huge mess.

Following the discovery of a security hole in macOS High Sierra in which a user can simply enter their user name as “root”, not provide a password and be allowed full access to the computer, Apple has offered the following statement:

“We are working on a software update to address this issue,” Apple said. “In the meantime, setting a root password prevents unauthorized access to your Mac. To enable the Root User and set a password, please follow the instructions here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204012. If a Root User is already enabled, to ensure a black password is not set, please follow the instructions from the ‘Change the root password’ section.”

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Bkav hacking group bypasses Face ID, shows second proof of concept mask

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Date: Tuesday, November 28th, 2017, 03:12
Category: Face ID, Hack, Hardware, iPhone, News, security

In spite of Face ID being an impressive feature, yet another successful proof of concept/hack seems to have taken place.

The security system, which has apparently been fooled by twins, children, and a mask has once again been bypassed by Vietnamese security company Bkav, which made headlines in mid-November after uploading a video featuring Face ID accessed by a mask. Though successful as a proof of concept, there were several questions about the unlocking methods used in the video, including whether “Require Attention” was turned on. On Monday, Bkav shared a second video with a new mask and a clearer look at how the mask was used to spoof Face ID.

The company used a 3D printed mask made of stone powder, which can be replicated for approximately $200. 2D infrared images of eyes were then taped over the mask to emulate real eyes.

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iPhone X inventory improves at Apple Store retail locations

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Date: Tuesday, November 28th, 2017, 03:30
Category: iPhone, News, retail

If you’re hankering for an iPhone X, the odds of your being able to hoof it over to an Apple retail location and pick one up have dramatically improved since the handset’s launch at the beginning of November.

The cool cats over at The Mac Observer used Appleā€™s own inventory availability checker to see where the iPhone X is available.

The results proved encouraging.

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Cyber Monday, guides begin to go online, predictions made

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Date: Monday, November 27th, 2017, 03:08
Category: Apple Watch, iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad Pro, iPhone, iPhone, MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News, retail, Uncategorized, Wearables

Cyber Monday is upon us and the deals are out there.

Per Forbes and BestBlackFriday.com, the following Cyber Monday deals have been noted:

eBay – Apple 13.3″ MacBook Air (2017) for $744.99 (save $255) – product link

eBay – Apple iPad Pro 12.9″ 256GB 4G+WiFi for $749.99 (save $110) – product link

eBay – Apple iPhone 8 64GB CDMA Unlocked for $674 (save $25) – product link

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The following links have also been predicted from other merchants:

Prediction – $250 free Walmart gift card when activating an iPhone X, 8, or 8 Plus at Walmart – product link

Prediction – Apple iPad mini 4 Wi-Fi for $174.99 (save $125) at Best Buy – product link

Prediction – Apple iPad 32GB Wi-Fi (5th Generation) for $249 (save $80) at Walmart – product link

Prediction – Save up to $250 off MacBook Pros at Best Buy – product link

Prediction – Apple Watch Series 3 for $329 + $90 in Kohl’s Cash at Kohl’s – product link

Via Forbes and BestBlackFriday.com